Science Fiction These Days

So I’m procrastinating taking a break from studying, and I wanted to write something but I’m still not sure how I feel about posting things to facebook. These days I am sort of obligated to be more active on it, but I’m still not sure how far I want to take that. Anyway, so I think I’m going to open myself up to writing more random stuff here, though I do dislike being disorganized, but you can’t organize something that doesn’t exist yet, so.

I obviously don’t have time to do a full translation or any such thing at the moment, but a thought that occurred to me recently was that science fiction these days seems to end on more of a middle note than a good or bad note. Before college, I only managed to read one series (and it was a really long one) that ended on a middle note where “it’s not the end of the world” but it’s also not the best outcome or even an outcome we as readers were hoping for, for these characters we liked so much. As we neared the end all I could think was “no no no don’t let that happen” but then it did, but then the characters sort of figured out a way to cope with it so the bad effects were mostly neutralized.

Now, the “Hunger Games” trilogy (Suzanne Collins) ends on a middle note, with “they’re alive” but also “they’re not really anywhere around the vicinity of happily-ever-after.” The ending for the “Newsflesh” triology (Mira Grant) is on a more positive note than not (whereas “Hunger Games” is probably more negative than not), but also not really completely better because … oh, I don’t think I can avoid spoilers — or at least I don’t feel like putting in the effort to do so — she’s not the original so she doesn’t have retinal KA, which also means she doesn’t have the immunity that she ought to and he really can’t give it back to her the way he originally got immunity from her, and their relationship is kind of unsettling in our current cultural/societal expectations.

The “Infected” series (Scott Sigler) had a somewhat more straightforward ending, I think (it’s been a while since I read it), with a sort of middle ending because the main couple doesn’t get their happy ending, but we saw the deaths of some major characters coming a long way away (this is mostly what I mean by straightforward, as opposed to the previous two examples where the ending was only subtly hinted at but it seemed improbable that the author would actually take us to that conclusion but in the climax or resolution that conclusion was revealed), so I’m not sure if it entirely qualifies as being a middle ending… I suppose by definition it does because you don’t get the full resolution that you want, even though we do get resolution in the sense of plot points being wrapped up. (Sorry, got distracted and momentarily confused about what I was describing.)

Anyway, I guess I wonder why this is happening. Did we get enough black-and-white from the “Harry Potter” era and now we’re itching for more gray areas? Maybe writers are more interested in exploring nuances, which we should all really be doing more in our lives in the sense of staying away from prejudging as much as possible and looking for the little details that make us all unique instead of classifying people in one group or another (yes, I’m talking about racism, sexism, and the rest of that stuff). So maybe it’s a lesson we should be trying to apply? There’s pretty much always black in white and white in black, and good in the bad and bad in the good, and at least two sides to nearly everything. Remember that.

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